Good morning, neighbors! Many locations have popped above freezing this morning, and many have not. Temps pop up, Mother Nature whacks them down, a Goddess playing whack-a-mole with our lives. As of 6:15am, I-84 was closed westbound between Hood River and Cascade locks due to “Multiple semi trucks blocking the road in several areas causing extended traffic backups.” I saw a post on the Road Conditions FB page that someone had been stuck on 84 for 8 HOURS. BAD! TERRIBLE! AWFUL! As for the weather for the next few days, it’s complicated. Let’s take it one day at a time, which is a good way to take life too!
For Wednesday, a few flurries or sprinkles in the morning give way to clouds in the afternoon. Upper elevations may see the elusive golden shining orb known as “sun”. Freezing level maxes out at 1000′ today, dropping back to the surface tonight for black ice everywhere. A trace of snow may fall tonight as well. Seriously, don’t mess around with the roads tonight. It’s going to be slick as a slime trail on a banana peel on a freshly Zamboni-ed ice rink. Wind: light and variable going E 15-20 near Cascade Locks.
Thursday looks super-duper-extra complicated as a low swings from from the S to eastern Washington (low #1) and another low drops down from Alaska (low #137). Low #1 would normally be enough to turn gradients onshore and clear out the cold air, but low #137 may prevent the west wind switcheroo, depending on timing. With cold air locked in place in the morning and the 5000′ temp of low #1 at 4-6C, we’ll see a variety of mixed precips. Moisture is limited, fortunately. Best guess: light freezing rain west of Viento and east of Mosier starting around 10am. Up to 0.2” precip. Snow in Hood River, Parkdale, and Trout Lake areas: 1-2”. Freezing rain everywhere in the afternoon: 1/8” to 1/4”, probably the low end. Back to snow overnight: 1-2”. Wind will be E 40-45 near Iwash (p**is, cock, dong) Rock all day, resulting in a ginormous icy mess from Trout Lake eastward. Bye-bye I-84. SR-14, where WSDOT parts the snow and ice like Moses parted the Red Sea, will likely remain open to you, if not to the truckers.
Models really like the idea of the wind switching on Friday, but I give it a 10% chance. Actually, the ensemble model is all over the place on wind direction (see photo). West wind, by the way, is generally equated (not always) with above-freezing temps at river level. So, we start Friday with a ginormous icy mess all across the land. Precip will be limited (0.1” daytime, and 0.2” overnight, mostly in the west), and temps will hover right around freezing. I do think we’ll see a switch to westerly and a brief warm-up (freezing level 1500′) on Saturday before a return to colder weather overnight and on through early next week.
FYI, looks like Portland will go sub-freezing Saturday night and mostly stay there (at least overnight), through Tuesday morning. Skating rink roads and city drivers mix like oil and water, so avoid MetroLand if you can.